Monday, October 19, 2009

A manifesto

John Shelby Spong has issued a manifesto. I love it.
The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces. We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum. Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a "mobocracy," which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite.

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, I will no longer tolerate our culture's various forms of homophobia. I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.
Yes! Yes! Yes!


Makarios said...

Spong is completely right, of course. I'm not an Anglican, but it is obvious to anyone who has been following what's been going on that the debates within the Anglican communion--whether about GLBT persons, women's ordination, or whatever--are a dialogue of the deaf.

Everything that can be said about any of these topics has now been said. Neither party will convince the other side of anything. In fact, my take on it is that, at this point, neither party is even interested in convincing the other. All they're doing is reinforcing the notions of their own partisans.

Further debate, further attempts at "dialogue," are pointless. Time to move on.

Yewtree said...

Yes - I agree from a pragmatic point of view, a political point of view, and an idealistic point of view.